Causes of Gambling Addiction

There are many possible causes of gambling addictions and some people may gamble for different reasons to other people. Some common causes of gambling addictions include:


Gambling is exciting and the adrenaline rush can become addictive for many people. When gamblers become addicted, the rush of the gamble becomes a priority over things in that individual’s life and they continue to gamble despite other concerns such as financial troubles or relationship problems.

Filling a void

For many people, gambling gives them something to do and an opportunity to spend time with other people and win some money. For people who spend a lot of time on their own, joining an online gaming or betting site makes them feel part of a community and this can fill a void.

Stress and emotional problems

Gambling can be a reaction to emotional problems or sources of stress, because it provides a temporary escape and distracts people from what is actually going on in their lives.

Addictive personality

People with an addictive personality will usually become hooked on gambling more easily than others.

Family problems/relationship difficulties/ financial worries/ illness/ bereavement/ unemployment

People may turn to gambling as a means of coping with or blocking out difficult events or problems in their life.

Alcohol abuse

Many people (around 50%) of people with gambling addictions also suffer from alcohol addiction and the two addictions can fuel each other.

The lure of the betting shop or website

Increasingly, websites and bookies are offering punters special offers, deals of the day and free bets of games to encourage people to gamble. A casual hobby can soon turn into a serious addiction.


Figures suggest that people with a gambling addiction are around twice as likely to suffer from depression.